Social Progression and Podcasting

While the word podcasting may seen ancient to the modern millennial, podcasting is still a very relevant part of journalism. When it was first mentioned in 2004, it seemed quite obvious to have this idea of a radio in your hands with your MP3 player or iPod. While technology has expanded tremendously, podcasting still seems to be a relevant aspect.

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Podcasting, similar to other social media outlets, allows users to give their opinion on any topic they desire. One topic that is especially relevant for American listeners in this time of political haywire.

March on Washington, 1963
Black Lives Matter, 2016

While women’s rights, racism, and LGBTQ rights are not new issues facing Americans (pictured above), Trump winning the election in combination with the widespread opinions on the Internet, has created an uproar of political and social activists.

Suddenly, practically everything and everyone was politically charged. While before the question of who you voted for, or what party you were apart of was socially unacceptable now people are publicly saying their opinion on live and nation television as seen in the Yara Shahidi and Stephen Colbert video above.

However, this doesn’t stop at television and social media. There are podcasts primarily dedicated to talking about these political and social movements. 

Before jumping into the specifics, a few places to find good podcasts are Audible, iTunes, and National Public Radio.

Pictured above is what it looks like when you are trying to purchase/download a podcast with iTunes. Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham are writers for the New York Times and also the lead writers for their podcast, “Still Processing.”

Below is an example of one of their podcasts entitled, “We Paint the Town Obama.” In this podcast they look at the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama just recently installed in the National Portrait Gallery. But beyond that, they look at the controversy that surrounded the portraits and decipher the meaning of the photos.

Although there was no embed code for their podcast you can listen to the full podcast linked here.

Another example of a politically charged podcast is one with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu called “Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu.

Their episodes (another word used for different podcasts in the same series) is surrounded on the idea of learning how to survive in the age of Trump. In the season 2 of their podcast, the two comedians “navigate the dumpster fire that is the US political landscape,” as worded on their website. In their podcasts they interview a number of different people from artists, activists, journalists and more to talk politics and fake news.

In one of their episodes entitled Charlottesville: Why did this happen and how do we move forward? In this podcast they speak on the white supremacist protests which occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. They interview two different people to get their takes and give advice on how to cope with such a horrendous act.

Again, there was no embed code for this podcast but you can listen to the full podcast for free here.

Unfortunately, racism is usually taught and there is a power dynamic that comes along with it. Below is my podcast where I look at and analyze the privilege dynamic seen around the N-word and why it makes people of color uncomfortable.

For this podcast, Dr. Traci Parker of UMass Amherst, student Lyndsey Dyer at Georgetown University, and student Brita Turner at UMass Amherst were all interviewed. All the interviews were conducted via Skype.